Los Angeles World Airports and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have reached an agreement on the completion of the Runway Status Lights project at Los Angeles International Airport.

The project is comprised of an advanced new system of safety lights designed to automatically warn pilots on the ground of aircraft approaching on the runway.

The announcement, made at a Board of Airport Commissioners meeting April 13, indicated that construction would begin in August and finish in March 2013, followed by a period of testing and commissioning by the FAA.

“Five years ago, I asked the FAA to install Runway Status Lights as a common sense, high-tech, approach to ensuring safety on the LAX airfields,” said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes LAX. “This agreement represents their commitment to complete that project, and I believe it will go a long way towards making our runways even safer.

“Safety at LAX has always been my top priority,” continued Rosendahl, “and this is a safety solution that is effective, and that won’t further impact the local residents in Westchester and Playa del Rey.”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), working with an academic panel of national experts in the field of aviation, found two years ago that “the LAX North Airfield is extremely safe for projected 2020 traffic levels and traffic mix.”

Rosendahl also reiterated his continuing concerns that understaffing the LAX control tower results in longer hours, controller fatigue, and dangerous working conditions.

“I know that the FAA has done some good work to address the staffing shortages at the LAX control tower, but I don’t think we should take our eyes off that ball,” the councilman said. “We need to continue the focus on training and placing more certified air traffic controllers at LAX.”

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